Private landlords have been urged to be on their guard if they have empty properties in their portfolios.

The warning comes from Suffolk Constabulary after youths broke-in to an empty property in Great Ashfield, Suffolk and held an illegal rave party, the Ipswich Evening Star reports.

Officers eventually closed down the gathering, but the event could prompt landlords to consider their building insurance cover.

The incident comes after an insurance expert reminded private landlords of the importance of carrying out credit and reference checks on prospective tenants.

Mike Colmans, underwriting manager at Norwich Union, described vetting tenants as "essential"after figures published by the insurer showed that claims worth a value of more than £1 million were made in 2007 related to property damage caused by homes being used for cannabis farms.

Police in Suffolk are considering legal action against a 17-year-old found in possession of cannabis, the newspaper noted.

Local officers have advised private landlords to ensure any empty properties they own are secured and alarmed if possible.ADNFCR-2002-ID-19028511-ADNFCR

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